Food writer Corby Kummer spoke with Boston Public Radio on Tuesday about returning to eat at restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The problem is always going to be, 'How do we get diners to wear masks and behave?' That's the real problem for restaurants and is why they're opening and reclosing," he said. "We're working on a diner code of conduct on how to enforce this, because this is the central problem."
Restaurants are coming up with various ways of enforcing health safety to a customer base that doesn't want to abide by the rules, Kummer noted.
"Applebee's is hiring employees who just go around with a tub of cleaning products, constantly disinfecting," he said. "But Applebee's should hire someone who also very nicely stands at the door of the restaurant saying, 'I think you've forgetten your mask, can we give you one?' so that they have the equivalent of a bouncer enforcing this."
Hiring a person to enforce mask-wearing among customers is a good investment of money that restaurants could be taking, Kummer added. "But of course independent restaurants can't afford this extra person, they can't afford this enforcement."
Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.